Skip to main content

Full text of "An address : delivered at Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, June 7th, 1893, commencement day of the University of North Carolina"

See other formats









This book must not 
be token from the 
Library building. 

Digitized by tine Internet Archive 

in 2010 witin funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


Hon. Robert P. Dick. 


Chapel Hill, N. C, Wednesday, June jth, 1893, 

Commencement Day of the University of North Carolina. 


C. F. Thomas, Book and Job Printer, 



Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Four years ago I attended the celebration of the cen- 
tennial of this venerable University, and met with many 
college brothers — -young and old- — but only a few college 
comrades. We truly had the "feast of reason and the 
flow of soul," hallowed and beautified with many cher- 
ished memories. Then we formed many new acquaint- 
anceships, renewed old friendships, and together pledged 
continued and affectionate devotion to our Alma Mater. 

That occasion will ever be one of the most pleasant 
recollections of my life, as, in memory, it carried me 
back over the varied gloom and brightness of intervening 
years to the sunny springtime of my early days. 

My visits to Chapel Hill recall to my mind some his- 
torical facts and local incidents and associations, which 
I have read in books of travel, about the old Etruscan 
city of Pisa. Tourists inform us that in that venerable 
city there is a group of ancient and splendid edifices 
around the Campo Santo, which was made holy by many 
shiploads of soil brought from Mount Calvary under the 
direction of a bishop of the Church of Rome, who had 
engaged in the crusades. 

Those white marble edifices seem to have withstood 
the corroding and decaying agencies and influences of 
time, and still have the freshness and beauty of the early 
days of their erection — seven hundred years ago. They 
truly link the present with the past, as they have wit- 
nessed the joys and the sorrows, the labors and achieve- 

ments, and the coming and the going of more than 
twenty generations. They are enriched and adorned 
with some of the finest productions of art during five 
centuries prolific in the achievements of splendid genius 
and culture ; and they are associated with many import- 
ant and interesting events in the history of progressive 
learning, literature, science, philosophy and enlightened 
jurisprudence. ^ 

In this historic group of edifices there is one — called" 
the Baptistery — that is especially attractive and remark- 
able for the echoing melodies that are produced within 
its walls by tones of the human voice attuned to certain 
musical notes and chords. As soon as such tones are 
uttered, the awakened and responsive melodies are blend- 
ed into echoing harmonies that ripple, roll and swell 
through the building like the symphonies of unseen 
choirs of rejoicing Cherubim and Seraphim, and then 
rise on viewless wings of sweet cadences into the lofty 
dome, and then gently pass into the silence of the upper ! 
distance, on their heavenward way. They were like the 
soft, sweet voices of the past that meet in unison in the 
heart, with the joys of the present and the hopes and 
aspirations of the future, and blend into thrilling and 
inspiring harmonies. 

This Old Campus has some of the agencies and appli- 
ances of religious consecration in the morning, evening 
and Sabbath chimes of the College bell, calling to prayer 
and worship for more than a hundred years; and it is 
rich in memories and associations of pleasant incidents 
and affectionate friendships that make it to all returning 
students "haunted and holy ground.' 

The Old Buildings of this University have their pecu- 
liar reminiscences of unportrayed scenes and events, and 
of unrecorded thoughts, emotions, cares, sorrows, pray- 
ers and hopes of their many occupants. They have no 


place on the pages of history, but they were inscribed 
with vivid distinctness by the diamond pen of memory 
in many hearts that are now cold in the grave, in many 
hearts that are now feebly throbbing with age and infirm- 
ity, and in many hearts illumined with fond hopes and 
bounding with vigorous energies. Many of these 
thoughts, emotions, aspirations and hopes have been re- 
corded in the Lamb's Book of Life. 

Were these old College groves inhabited by the Dryads 
and Hamadryads of classic fable, they could tell many a 
pleasing, suggestive or marvellous story of things which 
they had seen, heard or imagined, in sunlight or in 
shade or beneath the silent stars in the hours gone by 

To me old Gerrard Hall has much of the sanctity of a 
baptistery. There I often heard lessons of divine truth 
and wisdom from venerated lips that taught me science 
and literature in the class-room, and spoke many words 
of kindness and sympathy in daily intercourse. There I 
received the honors and the parting blessings of my 
Alma Mater, as she sent me forth clothed in the strong 
panoply which she had wrought, to struggle for fortune 
and fame in the battlefields of busy life, and to perform 
the duties which I owed to myself, my fellow man, my 
country, my God and truth. 

The tones of the voices of my college brethren, in that 
old sanctuary of learning and friendship — on our grand 
Centennial festal day — were not attuned to musical 
notes and chords, but they recalled many sunny memo- 
ories of the " long ago," which were sweeter to my heart 
than the cultured harmonies of sound; and they awak- 
ened feelings and emotions of sympathetic affection, 
pathos and harmony, as I contemplated the scenes before 
me and compared them with my vivid recollections of 
former days. 

"Those days of old when youth was bold, 

And time stole wings to speed it, 
And youth ne'er knew how fast time flew. 

Or knowing did not heed it. 
Though gray each brow that meets us now, 

For age brings wintry weather, 
Yet naught can be so sweet to see 

As dear old friends together." 

I have come here to-day as a representative of the class 
of 1843 — that graduated just fifty years ago. I am glad 
again to meet so many of my college brethren, and I 
am sad because I greet so few of my former comrades 
and class-mates. 

There is many a spot, many a tree, and many a scene 
where, in memory, I can hold communion with them 
and feel again the thrill of the oldtime youthful joys. 
The little company in the grand army of the generations, 
with which I commenced the march of real life, have 
nearly all passed over the river, and here amidst similar 
scenes of association, enjoyment and employment, I 
can serenely and hopefully contemplate the land of the 
'• Heavenly Rest," when the dear friends of earth — parted 
now — will surely meet again. 

The subject of my graduation speech was, " The His- 
tory and Resources of North Carolina;" and my patriotic 
love and devotion for " The Good Old North State " 
have increased with my advancing years, and I feel that 
this University has contributed largely to our State en- 
lightenment, prosperity, greatness and renown. 

In the morning of young manhood I thought that fifty 
years was a very long period in individual life. I think 
differently now, for it seems but yesterday when I was a 
college boy surrounded by loved comrades who were as 
vigorous and buoyant with health, joys and ambitious 
hopes as the young men I see before me to-day. 

While there are in the ways of human life infinite va- 
rieties and diversities in individuals, and in domestic, so- 
cial and civil relations, still there is much of general 
sameness in the incidents, duties, occupations, enjoy- 
ments and disappointments of every day-life. We are 
told that " History often repeats itself" So the genera- 
tion of the present is, in many respects, a repetition of 
preceding generations; and so it will be with many 
generations to come. The Psalmist has truly said, 
" One generation shall praise thy works to another, and 
shall declare thy mighty acts." 

" Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and thy do- 
minion endureth throughout all generations." 

Many improved means and methods have been devised 
for the convenient and ready communication of instruc- 
tion — but no royal road to learning has ever yet been 
discovered that affords idlers and laggards easy access 
to the rich storehouses of valuable knowledge. There 
is no intuitive or spontaneous generation of efficient in- 
tellectual power and high moral excellence. Labor is 
the divinely imposed destiny of man, and it must be ob- 
served and obeyed to attain beneficent results. 

The general laws and principles of education are now, 
as they have ever been. Arduous effort and ceaseless 
judicious culture are required to develop the physical, 
mental, moral and spiritual faculties and energies of 
mankind into the elements and forces that produce those 
practical virtues, disciplined capacities, systematized 
knowledge and matured wisdom that will enable them 
to enjoy the blessings of this life, and perform aright the 
duties of their destiny. 

Nature works with sublime slowness in most of her 
great productions, and in so doing she yields implicit 
obedience and uncomplaining submission to the laws of 
her Maker. She teaches mankind many grand lessons 

of patience, perseverance and obedience in attaining and 
achieving the just ends and purposes of life. As God 
has created all things in nature for a definite purpose, 
and placed them in that condition, locality and associ- 
ation where they will best subserve the objects and plans 
of Divine economy, so I firmly believe that God cre- 
ated every human being for a specific purpose, and placed 
him in that sphere of life wherein — if he yields submission 
to divine control — his subsequent conduct and environ- 
ments will be such as to enable him to perform his part 
in the plans and objects of divine arrangement. 

We cannot fully comprehend the ways and dealings of 
God with mankind — and as the creatures of His hand, 
we should not question His wisdom, goodness, mercy 
and love; but as obedient children, in humble faith and 
submission, rely upon the precious promises of our Heav- 
enly Father, implicitly trusting in the consoling and 
comforting words of our Saviour: "What I do thou 
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." 

God is the great Educator of mankind, and this com- 
modious, beautiful and magnificent world which He has 
created is His grand University. In this world univer- 
sity there are four great classes of the human race in 
conditions of barbarism, semi-barbarism, civilization and 
enlightened civilization. We know nothing of the means 
and methods of instruction, advancement and govern- 
ment which God employs, except the knowledge which 
has been communicated to us by way of personal expe- 
rience, reason and science, and by the light of history, 
of nature and divine revelation. 

We know that while ' Clouds and darkness are round 
about Him, righteousness and judgment are the habita- 
tion of His throne." 

We know that God by the ministry of the Holy Spirit 
is ever giving counsel, consolation and comfort to His 


believing people; and admonitions, warnings and offers 
of reconciliation to those who do not obediently recog- 
nize His Fatherhood and the omnipotence of His domin- 
ion. We know that He is ever manifesting His wisdom, 
mercy, goodness, love and power by the continuous 
blessings of His Providences. We know that He has 
placed in this world a rich library of inspiration, reveal- 
ing His will, precious promises and gracious instructions 
and encouragements, so expressed as to be capable of 
intelligible translation into every language of mankind, 
and suited to the apprehension, taste and culture of every 
one in every sphere of life. 

In this comprehensive Library we find biographies and 
scenes of domestic, social and civic life portrayed in the 
instructive simplicity of common speech, and we also 
find the terse and graphic narrative of grand events, 
the forceful logic that convinces the mind, the sweet 
rhythm, harmony and imagery that charm and soothe the 
heart, and the sublime poetry and eloquence that thrill 
and enrapture the soul. 

We know that each day and nearly every hour He dis- 
plays on the surface of the earth or in the skies new 
scenes of exquisite and inimitable loveliness to cultivate 
man's innate sense of the beautiful and afford him per- 
petual pleasures. 

We know that He keeps in ceaseless, unwearied and . 
unerring operation, under His guiding eye and hand, 
the grand and complex machinery of His works in 
nature, to preserve this earth as a pleasant, healthful, 
beautiful and bountiful habitation for man. 

We know that His benificences are seen, felt or heard 
by all His creatures, from the smallest to the greates, 
to the uttermost part of the earth, from the sunless and 
silent depths of the ocean up through the ambient air, 
through the sombre, fleecy or radiant clouds, to and be- 


yond the munificent and glorious sun and the golden 

From God's word and works, and from the lessons 
which He has taught in His dealings with the human 
race, mankind have derived their profoundest wisdom, 
their richest knowledge, their most elevated and refined 
principles of morality, their purest literature and their 
most enlightened principles and institutions of civil and 
religious freedom and government, and of human benev- 
olence and charity. 

Science is only a human classification of the knowledge 
of some of the materials, elements, forces and laws of 
nature which have been partially discovered by observa- 
tion, experiment, enlightened reason and patient induc- 
tion. Any further advancements in this department of 
human learning will be but additional acquisitions of 
knowledge of the exhaustless elements and unwearied 
agencies that abundantly exist and ceaselessly co-oper- 
ate with unerring regularity and exactitude in the vast 
storehouses and workshops of nature. 

The useful arts are only the application of the princi- 
ples and laws of science to purposes of convenience, 
comfort and enjoyment. The Fine Arts result from the 
cultivation of the innate sense of the "beautiful" into 
aesthetic tastes, refined perceptions and exquisite skill by 
observation and imitation of the objects and scenes in 
nature that are everywhere displayed in profuse abund- 
ance and in infinite varieties of elegance and loveliness. 

Poetry of the highest order is the linguistic expression 
of the beauty, rhythm, melody, harmony, grandeur and 
sublimity which the discerning eyes and susceptible 
hearts of genius have seen, felt or heard in the manifold 
work of creation, and which they have found richly 
illustrated in the splendid pages of inspiration. Any 
further achievements by human effort in the realms of 

' II 

poetry and the Fine Arts, will be only a fuller and more 
glorious apprehension and realization of the everywhere 
manifest truth, that God in nature is the primal source, 
and He is the continuous and matchless delineator of 
" the true, the good and the beautiful." The tendency 
of Christian civilization is to enlighten, refine and elevate 
the mental, moral and spiritual faculties and energies of 
mankind and make them more and more " in the image 
of their Maker." 

The principles and truths of moral philosophy engaged 
the attention and research of some of the wisest and best 
sages of the ancient world. Their exalted minds ranged 
widely and grandly through the fields of speculative 
philosophy and refined idealism, and they expressed 
their doctrines in the noblest eloquence of human thought 
and language. They discovered and announced many 
principles and formed many brilliant conceptions of truth 
— that were radiant with light and beauty — but they were 
grouped and enfolded in nebulous confusion. Their 
finite minds sought in vain to comprehend the Infinite, 
and discover the sun and fixed stars of Eternal Truth, 
which have been partially disclosed in the sublime teach- 
ings of Revelation. 

The Bible is the real and copious source of the en- 
lightening, purifying and elevating truths and principles 
of sound social ethics and personal morality and virtue; 
and it also communicates much precious and useful 
knowledge, which meditation, prayer and conscientious 
application will ever mature into that wisdom which leads 
into the ways of pleasantness and into the paths of peace 
and immortal blessedness. 

History, which teaches instructive lessons of wisdom 
and philosophy is only a very incomplete record of God's 
dealings with mankind in past ages. In our own expe- 
rience and in the light of history God has manifiested 


and still manifests some of the thoughts, plans and 
purposes of His superintending providence. We can 
see the beneficent results which He has evolved and de- 
veloped from the wicked, cruel and bloody strifes and 
turmoils of hostile and contending nations. In all the 
ages there have been continuous conflicts between the 
elements and agencies of ^(?<?</ and evil; between inno- 
cence, virtue, justice and truth on the one side, and on 
the other the baseness, error, wrong, vice and cruelty of 
depraved humanity. These conflicts have furnished 
many dark and sad stories of poverty, sorrow, suffering, 
misery, agony, crime and disasters; but in the course of 
the ages we see Victory slowly but surely declaring for 
the "good;" everywhere strengthening and enlarging 
the fortresses, agencies, armories, store houses and trib- 
unals of justice, mercy and truth, and advancing its 
cheering, resplendent and protecting banners all along 
the lines of human progress. 

In the benign and glorious march of Christian civilization 
we can readily observe how wisely and mercifully God has 
commingled and arranged all the best elements, agen- 
cies and influences of humanity into active, harmonious 
and progressive forces. In this grand army there are in- 
numerable companies formed into distinctive corps and 
placed in various fields of service. Their operations in 
former times appear to our finite minds to have been in- 
congruous, hostile, antagonistic and disastrous, but every 
day we can percieve that they are becoming better dis- 
ciplined and are rendered more efficient and harmonious. 

We see the innocence, guileless affection and joyful 
hopefulness of childhood and youth that brighten and 
cheer Christian homes and renew the strength and en- 
durance of parents and kindred to bear the burdens of 
solicitude, sorrow, self-denial and daily toil. 

We see the vigor, energy, enterprise and enthusiasm 


of young men and women entering upon their untried 
pathways of life, eagerly pressing to the forward ranks 
and oftentimes ambitiously striving to reach prematurely 
the vanguard. 

Then we see maturer manhood and womanhood in the 
heat and burden of the day — in the midst of joys and 
sorrows, successes and disappointments — toiling and 
struggling in the performance of the essential, arduous 
and pleasant duties that surround them, earnestly long- 
ing to acquire the means and opportunities for comfort, 
contentment and repose. 

Then we see the Old Guards — who are God's reserved 
forces of society, disciplined in a hundred conflicts, 
whose courage, firmness, patient endurance and useful- 
ness are elevated and sustained by sturdy virtues, expe- 
rience, conservatism, knowledge, wisdom and Christian 

In the light of Revelation, science and history, we can 
readily see that the God who rules among the armies of 
Heaven, and, in the midst of sunshine, calm or storms, 
controls the complex mechanism of the physical universe 
with unerring regularity and infinite beneficence, rules 
also among the inhabitants of earth, and has marshalled 
the grand army of Christian civilization, led on by the 
Bible Ark of the Covenant, beneath the fiery and cloudy 
pillar of His Providence, to the achievement of His 
plans and purposes in the onward and upward progress 
of human affairs and the advancement of His Kingdom 
of Righteousness. 

To-day I have come from the engagements and duties 
of the busy world to these fountains and groves of cul- 
ture, learning and hallowed memories, to seek refresh- 
ment and brief repose, and to speak words of cheer and 
encouragement to my young brethren — those who are 
now about to depart, and those who will still abide for a 


time within the halls and beneath the roof-tress of our 
common literary inheritance and home. 

I have no words of discouragement to speak, and only 
a few words of admonition. Unless you have been pre- 
pared tn your parental homes, and have acquired strength, 
virtue and wisdom from the mental and moral culture 
you have here received, you will soon learn some stern 
lessons of disappointment and sorrow in the schools of 
bitter experience. 

You have heard many premonitions as to the trials, 
temptations, difficulties and dangers which you will en- 
counter in the world of active affairs, and if you will not 
heed those warnings from the hearts and lips of those 
you love and venerate — words of advice from me would 
be as the empty air. 

There are many difficulties before you, but they can 
be overcome. What man has done, man can do again, 
and achieve still grander triumphs. Many temptations 
will beset your pathways with alluring promises of pleas- 
ures and advantages, but they are generally deceptive, 
and can and must be successfully resisted. 

If you will meet trials bravely, cheerfully, hopefully 
and persistently, you will acquire atrength from conquest, 
rather th^n be overwhelmed by the disasters of defeat. 
" Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," 
and you will find by the results of experience that this 
divine maxim is indeed a "Golden Rule." 

If adverse and unfounded prejudices, falsehoods and 
criticisms annoy you by their injustice and wrong, time 
and the rectitude of your own conduct will generally 
furnish an all-sufficient remedy and reparation. If the 
infidelity and ingratitude of former friends whom you 
had treated kindly and generously trusted, tend to arouse 
feelings of bitterness in your heart and to make you lose 
confidence in the truth and sincerity of human justice 


and friendship, still be lenient in your judgments on the 
conduct of your fellow men, and strive — as far as self- 
respect will allow — to practice forgiveness, forbearance 
and charity, for these are divine virtues and will ennoble 
your nature and afford >ou pleasant reminiscences and 
an approving conscience. 

Manly courage in self-defense, and in vindicating what 
is just and true is always admirable and right, but bitter 
recrimination and aggressive violence should be avoided, 
as far as possible; and retaliation is prompted by a spirit 
of revenge and is always wrong, if not odious. If per- 
plexities in business disturb you ; if anxieties and sor- 
rows in domestic and social life cause you useless 
repinings, wasteful wakefulness and many tears ; if you 
are surrounded by dangers that threaten overthrow, do 
the best yoii can, trust in God and. He will strengthen 
your heart, "for in the Lord Jehovah is everlastino- 
strength," and " He is mighty to save." 

God has made a beautiful, bountiful and beneficent 
world for the comfort, happiness and prosperity of His 
people, and He has richly bestowed upon them the op- 
portunities, facilities and capacities for reasonable acqui- 
sition and enjoyment; and it is His good pleasure that 
they should possess and employ these Divine bounties 
for their own happiness and His glory. 

My Young Brothers, who are about to enter upon the 
duties of real life, "be of good courage, ' and , with brave, 
cheerful and hopeful hearts, go forth to do those duties 
and partake of the blessings that so largely abound in 
this "goodly land " and heritage which God gave to our 
fathers, and has thus far signally preserved to their pos- 
terity. Indeed it is a "goodly land " — far exceeding in 
natural beauty, richness, vastness, grandeur and sublim- 
ity the Promised Land which was given to Israel as their 
inheritance and heaven-blessed home. 

This magnificent land, unknown to the ancient world 



and marked by traces and memorials of departed civili- 
zation, was Divinely closed to discovery, exploration 
and settlement by modern nations until God had, in the 
furnace fires of trial, persecution and oppression — during 
dark, disastrous and revolutionary centuries— gradually 
developed among men the principles of civil and relig- 
ious freedom and enlightened Christianity, and prepared 
a people to plant them in the grand forest solitudes of 
America and build up the splendid institutions of Christ- 
ian civilization in this Great Republic of sovereign and 
independent States. 

The wisdom, goodness, mercy and powers of God in 
the planting, guidance and preservation of the people of 
the United States are so clearly manifested that even 
imperfect history seems to be a revelation of His will, 
plans and purposes as to the duty and destiny of the 
Anglo-American race. 

Stand as vigilant, patriotic and heroic guards around 
the institutions of civil and religious freedom, which — un- 
der the guidance of Omnipotence — our venerated ances- 
tors established and we now enjoy. These institutions 
were founded upon the principles of truth, justice, integ- ■ 
rity and Christianity, and they can only be sustained and 
preserved by the patriotism, virtue, intelligence and 
piety of our people, ever observing the precepts and 
commands of our Divine Ruler and Guide. 

Mere physical courage, scientific enlightenment, accu- 
mulated wealth and natural resources and advantages 
will not of themselves make a nation great, prosperous 
and happy. 

" Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain 
that build it ; except the Lord keep the city the watch- 
man waketh but in vain." 

Our Christian homes are heritages of the Lord. He 
is their Maker and Builder. In them dwell and abide the 


purest, dearest and holiest affections and joys of life, that 
cheer, bless and urge us onward in our noblest efforts 
and aspirations, and enrich our hearts with hallowed 
memories. There God in his continuous and merciful 
providence lays deep and strong the concrete foundations, 
and builds the beneficent superstructures of domestic and 
social peace and happiness, and national unity, prosperity, 
power and progres. There too our daughters "may be 
as cornerstones polished after the similitude of a palace," 
and our sons grow up in their youth and become affection- 
ate, intelligent, virtuous, strong and heroic guardians to 
defend our gates against the encroachments and assaults 
of all our enemies. 

In all your efforts to acquire knowledge, wealth, influ- 
ence and fame, endeavor to learn what is just and true in 
order that you may do what is generous, honorable, 
merciful and right. Do all that you can to suppress the 
causes and agencies of vice, error, injustice and fraud, 
and to alleviate the sorrows and misfortunes that surround 

Constantly strive to multiply, strengthen and advance 
all the agencies and instrumentalities that contribute to 
State and national honor, patriotism and advancement; 
— and to the moral, intellectual and Christian enlighten- 
ment, prosperity and happiness of your fellow-citizens 
and all mankind. 

You will always love your childhood home and cherish 
the sacred memories that cluster there. With a kindred 
affection, love and cherish this University — the early home 
of your moral ond intellectual manhood. As your Alma 
Mater she has bestowed upon you many rich gifts by 
which you ran acquire enjoyment, usefulness, honor and 
fame. Strive — as far as you can— to recognize and pay 
this debt of gratitude, by sustaining her reputation, pro- 

moting her honor, and increasing and enlarging her in- 
fluences and resources, so that she may be able to bestow 
richer blessings upon her future sons and make them 
wiser, stronger, better and nobler than their elder broth- 
ers who have so largely contributed to her fame. 

All the moral and intellectual efforts of past ages have 
enriched and strengthened the present generations with 
marvellous acquisitions and wondrous power with which 
they are entering into the more valuable treasure-houses 
and sublimer possibilities of the future. There will be 
no halt in the march of progress, — it will be ever onward 
and upward to higher and broader fields of knowledge, 
to grander deeds and more beneficent achievements. 

Love the dear "Old North State" — the foster mother 
of this University. Love her as the exiled Jew — in every 
clime of his wanderings — loves the now desolate and op- 
pressed land of his early fathers. Love her, as the Swit- 
zer loves his fertile valleys, shining lakes and grand 
mountains. Love her, as the German race love the 
"Fadderland." Love her, as the Scotchman loves his 
"bonny banks and braes" — his heathery hills and misty 
Highlands. Love her, as the sons of Erin love the 
Emerald Isle — consecrated by genius and heroism, and 
endeared to the hearts of all friends of freedom, justice 
and humanity, by warm sympathies awakened by her 
many wrongs, sorrows and misfortunes. 

Love North Carolina, as our patriot fathers loved her 
when they went from their forest homes to struggle and 
die as heroes for her freedom and her fame. Love her, 
as her " Boys in Gray" loved her — when cold, ragged and 
hungry they did loyal service in the deadly trenches andi 
on the dangerous picket lines; — when foot sore and wearyj 
they toiled in summer and winter along the hot, gloomy,; 
painful and rugged march; — when prostrated by diseasej 


or wounds they languished on rude beds in hospital wards 
or in prison cells, yearning for the kind words, the sym- 
pathetic eyes, the tender hands, and the sweet kiss of 
loved onesat home; — yes, — love herastheydid when their 
gallant spirits ascended to heaven amidst the smoke, the 
roar and blaze of the battle conflict. Patriotism is only 
an enlarged love for humanity and home — kindred to the 
noblest virtues that elevate and adorn human character. 

My Young Brothers: May God bless and keep you. 
May He cause His face to shine upon you, and help you 
to discharge aright your duties to Him, to your fellow- 
men, to your country, to yourselves and to humanity and 

" Labor, dream, endure, achieve aspire 
Give your lives as Heaven sees best, 
Strive to conquer till your work is done 
Then you'll find peace, joy and rest." 

My Friends and Fellow-citizens, who, by your presence 
have honored my Alma Mater on this one of her gala 
days, I assure you of our sincere thankfulness and appre- 
ciation and of our most cordial welcome. I have a few 
words of encouragement and counsel as to our common 
duties and opportunities as citizens and philanthropists. 

We are now entering upon a very momentous epoch. 
The year 1893, will in the future, be regarded as one of 
the most memorable and beneficent eras in human his- 
tory. As I stand here to-day and look back over the 
past fifty years, I am bewildered, astounded and enrap- 
tured, as in mental vision, I behold the grand panorama 
of the marvellous events and the munificent and splendid 
achievements of Christian civilization. 

During that period more has been accomplished for the 
Christian enlightenment, elevation, happiness, prosperity 
and freedom of mankind than in all the preceding years 


of the four centuries which have elapsed since the keels 
of the caravels of Columbus touched the fragrant autumnal 
shores of the West Indian Isles. 

But as I look forward with the optimistic eye of pa- 
triotic, philanthropic and Christian hope I can catch 
gleams of the glories of the coming generations, and I 
bid them "All hail and welcome." 

From all the events that have occured and will occur, 
from all the things that have been and will be thought, 
said, done and felt in the United States during this year, 
I think I am warranted in indulging in the brightest and 
most hopeful anticipations. 

All the great nations of the world have sent war-ships 
to our shores as heralds of comity and good will. They 
have passed our marine fortresses unharmed — rejoicing 
voices and resounding salvoes have welcomed them into 
our ports and havens; and they have commingled in 
harmonious intercourse with the splendid ships of our 
gallant and courteous navy. Their banners — emblems 
of nationality and power — have floated on our breezes 
and cast their peaceful shadows upon our playful waters. 
The flash and roar of their cannon have been seen and 
heard with admiration, and without alarm — as their 
voices of war had become voices of peace. 

The assembled representatives of the navies of the 
world presented a magnificent array. Never before has 
there been seen such a congress of the Iron Clad Mon- 
archs of the deep, exchanging the cordial courtesies of 
amicable relations. They have a common home upon 
the ocean, they freely range in every clime, and I sin- 
cerely hope that no causes will ever occur to disturb their 
friendly relations and bring them into deadly and dis- 
astrous conflict. 

Our railroads, steamboats, towns and cities are teeming 


with representatives of all races and climes, who are 
mingling with our people in friendly intercourse, and in 
the ways and relations of business, trade and commerce. 

On the Exposition Grounds at Chicago many com- 
modious and elegant edifices and halls have been erected 
and furnished where merchants, manufacturers, mechan- 
ics, engineers, artists, scientists, educators, philanthrop- 
ists, moral reformers and evangelists of Christianity, from 
ever> land, may have opportunities and facilities of 
holding association and conference in their peculiar 
spheres of- interest, inclination, employment and duty; 
and devise means and methods for the advancement and 
accomplishment of their business plans and purposes, or 
their beneficent and benevolent designs. 

There are also numerous extensive and magnificent 
Exposition buildings in which the best, richest, most 
useful and most splendid productions of the industry, en- 
terprise, skill, intellect and genius of all nations are col- 
lected, arranged and elegantly displayed — not for the 
purposes of eager and selfish commercial competition but 
in a spirit of national pride and generous emulation. 

Manifold advantages will accrue to the representatives 
of all nations participating in the Columbian Exposition 
at Chicago. It will be the means of bringing the mental, 
moral, religious and business elements, agencies and 
forces of various nationalities and forms of civilization 
into comparison with the blessings, trophies and triumphs 
of peace which have been achieved under our benign 
institutions of civil and religious freedom and Christian 

Our people will receive much valuable knowledge from 
the older nations of Europe who earlier possessed the 
rich stores of the treasures of thought, learning and art 
which came down from classic antiquity, and whose 


civilizations were developed by industry, enterprise, ex- 
perience and assiduous culture during eventful ages, in 
the midst of proud, suggestive and inspiring historic 
scenes and localities, consecrated by the highest efforts 
of genius and heroism, and associated with the magnific- 
ent memorial relics ot Mediaeval and Renaissance cen- 

We will derive many benefits even from the nations 
which we have regarded as heathen and semi-barbarous. 
Our race prejudices will be greatly modified, and our 
mental and moral views will be much enlarged in scope 
and liberality. We will become more cosmopolitan and 
philanthropic in our charities of opinion, and in the kind- 
liness of our commercial and social relations. We will 
believe more in the kinship of humanity and in the pos- 
sibilities of universal brotherhood among all the races of 

The foreigners who come to our shores will witness 
the manifold productions of our energy, enterprise, skill, 
intellect, industry and moral virtue, and they will see, in 
some degree, the conveniences, comforts, pleasures, lux- 
uries, and advantages which we possess and enjoy as a 
free, enlightened and Christian people. They will see 
them in our happy, contented and prosperous homes; — in 
our active marts of successful trade and commerce; — in 
our busy worshops and manufactories where free labor is 
employed in various profitable and useful industries; — in 
our country dwellings surrounded by gardens, orchards, 
vineyards, fertile fields and green pastures yielding the 
varied and abundant products of agricultural pursuits; — 
in our thriving villages, towns and splendid cities; — in our 
well equipped and wisely managed schools, colleges and 
universities enriching and elevating the minds and hearts 
of our people with valuable knowledge, liberal culture 


and many virtues; — in our hospitals and homes for the 
sick and the poor; — in our large and commodious institu- 
tions for the afflicted and unfortunate; — in our Sabbath 
Schools where children are guided in the ways of knowl- 
edge, morality, virtues and piety and their young hearts 
are made joyous by singing the melodies of Christian 
minstrelsy; — in our numerous benevolent associations en- 
gaged in all the paths of life — in rescuing the tempted, 
restoring the fallen, and giving hope, courage and help 
to those who are bowed down by the despondencies and 
burdens of misfortune. 

They will see our churches of all denominations active- 
ly and earnestly endeavoring — by virtuous examples, lib- 
eral gifts and many efficient agencies, — to circulate the 
Bible in all languages, and to inculcate, at home and in 
every land, the enlightening and elevating truths and 
principles of this Gospel of Christianity. They will also 
learn from observation, and from thousands of eloquent 
voices, that the sectarian bigotry and antagonism which 
once existed to such a large extent among the various 
denominations, — retarding the progress of the kingdom of 
God, — are now rapidly passing away, and giving place to 
feelings and associations of brotherly kindness and 
Christian charity. 

The instinctive love of justice and freedom is implanted 
by God in every human heart and it will be kindled 
into a warmer glow in the bosoms of citizens of lands of 
oppression and wrong, when they witness and apprehend 
more fully the grand political truth of humanity — so 
clearly taught and so splendidly illustrated by our Great 
Republic — that a free, virtuous, enlightened and Christ- 
ian people are capable of self-goverement, and of Divine 
right, ought to exercise this God given privilege and 


These suggestive objects, ideas, examples and associa- 
tions, and the cordial welcome and fraternal courtesies 
extended to foreigners during this year will tend greatly 
to transfer to other lands germinating and developing 
principles, truths, ideas, feelings, agencies and influ- 
ences that will produce many changes, innovations, 
improvements and beneficences in all the departments of 
other civilizations and conditions of society, and rapidly 
advance the progress of Christian enlightenment, regen- 
eration, emancipation and evangelization among all the 
races of mankind, and bind them in the bonds of Christ- 
ian brotherhood. 

Any student graduating at this Commencement, if he 
be so fortunate as to live the next fifty years, and shall 
enjoy the privilege I do here to-day, of contemplating 
views of retrospection and anticipation, he will find that 
my seemingly extravagant forecast has been far exceeded 
by splendid realities. 

Fortunate, indeed, will be the generations of thecoms- 
ing ages, as in succession they progressively reach, — in 
their onward march, —the new, rich and expanding fields 
of literature, art and science; partake of the new and 
manifold comforts, conveniences and luxuries that indus- 
try, enterprise, skill, intellect and genius have contrib- 
uted to human health and enjoyment, — and rise to higher 
and higher elevations of Christian light, knowledge, vir- 
tue, charity and spirituality, ever approaching, — in the 
midst of increasing splendors, — the period of ultimate 
magnificence foreshown to prophetic vision and sublimely 
predicted by inspiration. 

" For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of 
the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." 


Read by Hon. Robert P. Dick, on June 7th, 1893, the Com- 
mencement Day of the University of North CaroUna, and the fiftieth 
anniversary of liis graduation. Prepared by combining original lines 
with copious extracts from a recent poem by Mr. Hezekiah Butter- 

"The dawn of new ages is breaking, 
The cycle of concord has come. 
There is peace in the echoing bugle, 
And a festival march in the drum." 
The bugle blast and the drum beat 
Cheered hearts that were noble and brave 
As they fought for freedom and home 
In the land — God their fathers gave. 
Now they cheer us in the efforts 
That our noblest powers employ, 
To win the earth by kindness 
For freedom's blessings and joy. 

The air is vocal with joyous strains. 

Advancing light new hope is revealing. 

Faces glow with kindness and gladness 

For the beams of the Day Spring are healing. 

The hum of labor, the scream of the engine. 

The loud roar of the rushing train 

Show new thought, and emotions throbbing 

In the public heart and brain. 

Splendid processions with music are moving. 

In the pride and pomp of martial array 

They bear aloft their industrial banners. 

The noble triumphs of peace to display. 

Floral wreaths and garlands are carried. 


Woven by hands of beauty and skill, 

They breathe the pure, sweet fragrance of home 

And hearts with love and energy fill. 

Fresh ardor is kindled by eloquent voices 

As past and future glories are told. 

Love of country is warmed with a fervor, 

While life lasts will never grow cold. 

Booms of welcome from cannon are sounding. 

Chimes of bells are harmonious and grand, 

For nations have come here to meet us 

In the realms of our beautiful land. 

The races have gathered as kinsmen, 
Their voices of friendship now ring 
Over plains, valleys and highlands. 
As the products of their labor they bring. 
Bring to the shrines of freedom 
To honor the grand heroes who gave 
This land for the dwelling of freemen — 
This land where breathes not a slave. 

Hallowed memories now greet us. 
We are proud of those patriot sires 
Who built here the temples of freedom 
And kindled their altar fires. 
They came from the eastward climes. 
From lands of appression and wrong, 
God guided their ocean pathways, 
And made them successful and strong — 
Strong to do justice and right. 
Strong to proclaim doctrines of peace 
That will give to other nations 
Blessings that never shall cease. 
We will be true to the mission 
Which our Fathers as heroes began. 



And keep this heritage of heaven 

As a home of freedom for man. 

Gospel truth is liberty's sunlight. 

In other lands was the cloudy dawning, 

But here shines the full glories of freedom, 

This is the blest land of the morning. 

O! land of beauty and richness. 
Home of the brave and the free. 
Send your west winds laden with balm. 
To welcome voyagers over the sea; 
Welcome them to your genial clime, 
Where freedom such blessings has brought. 
To your homes of contentment and peace. 
Where the truths of the Gospel are taught; 
To your wide realm where free labor can win 
The wealth that independence will give. 
Where wise laws and justice ever prevail, 
And in equality of rights they can live. 
To your schools and churches that teach 
How best to perform the duties of life, 
And make the nation happy and great 
And lessen the evils of error and strife 
They come with affectionate fondness 
Where homes of peace are strongly secured. 
And no form of oppression long can injure, 
No gross wrong will long be endured. 
For noble, brave freemen are the masters, 
The source of their just power is divine. 
The ballot box speaks their mandates, 
A free Bible is their voiceful shrine. 

The greetings of the people are cordial, 
Their hearts with good emotions are glowing 
And all nations with wonder observe 


How the brotherly feeling is growing. 

Among churches more Christian concord is seen, 

And their labors of love are widely extending 

Through this land and over the seas. 

The Gospel's glad tidings they are sending. 

With hearts full of thanksgiving we feel 

That "A Year of Jubilee" truly has come, 

And the nations are present to hail it 

With joyous acclaim in Liberty's Home. 

"The joys that our bosoms are thrilling, 

The hearts of all ages shall share. 

The warships and peaceships" are mingling 

And floating their flags in the air. 

"The skies of good will bend over them," 

With joy the waters seem swelling; 

Their sails are kissed by the breezes 

That messages of welcome are telling, 

" Liberty high her banner hath lifted," 

Emblazoned with the beams of the sun. 

"It floats for the new years of heaven, 

The brotherhood — fraternity has won." 

Now all races in spirit are blending, 

"For man move the cycles sublime 

The summons fol^ peace is ascending 

From the jubilee trumpets of time." 

The star flag — the herald of freedom 

Has the sunlight of hope on its brow. 

" It floats for the best of all ages, 

And the best of all ages — is now. 

That to man may be given his birthright, 

To knowledge — the future that waits. 

Equality — freedom to labor, 

And labor the wealth it creates. 

That the temples of truth for their Master 



By charity's feet may he trod. 

That hearts that are humble and human, 

May do the swift service of God. 

Fraternity! rise to thy mission, 

The noblest since order began. 

Till the nations are brothers united 

In one federation of man. 

The future stands waiting to greet thee, 

And battle her standards has furled." 

Columbia's flag in gladness is floating. 

Her sons and her daughters are shouting 

Hail! Welcome! Peace to the World.